I have purchased items in an early Black Friday sale online, but when they arrived, they were damaged, and some of the boxes were missing. The retailer said there are no returns because they were bought in a sale. What can I do?

I’m sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced with your delivery. The first thing you should do is check to see if the courier claims they have delivered all the parcels.

If they claim this is the case, and there are boxes missing, it could be that that the delivery has been tampered with.

Parcels that have the appearance of tampering, for example ripped seals on boxes, or boxes open on delivery, can usually be refused at the point of delivery. Many delivery companies are not requesting us to check parcels for health and safety reasons just now, which means that we are unable to refuse them at the time.

If you accept the items despite signs of damage, even if terms and conditions or the presence of a signature state that this confirms receipt in good condition, you still have rights.

You can usually avoid the possibility for any disputes over responsibility for damage by including the proviso ‘received but not inspected’ when signing for or receiving a delivery of goods.

Gathering Evidence of Damage

You should also ensure that you gather evidence in the form of photographs of the damage. You should contact the seller directly again through email with a read receipt, or in writing by signed for mail to complain about the damage.

If the retailer claims that the damage was made by you after the delivery was received, then the burden of proof lies with them for the first six months after you took delivery of the goods. If this is the case, they must prove that the damage was your fault.

Goods that are damaged in transit mean that a faulty goods claim can be made with the retailer. In this instance, consumer rights law states that you should receive a repair, replacement, or a refund for the order.

Costs Associated With Returns

The seller may request that you return damaged or faulty goods. In this instance, the cost of postage should not be your responsibility.

The Consumer Rights Act ensures that sellers pay for the return of faulty or damaged goods and means that you should be reimbursed for these costs. If you are asked to return the goods, you should enquire with the retailer to ensure that they will be insured against further damage that may occur in transit.

If they are not willing to do this, you should check if they will cover the cost of this insurance if you purchase it yourself from the company making the return.

Stolen Deliveries

The situation is the same when deliveries are stolen as when they do not show up. A complaint should be made to the retailer, as your contract is with them.

If you provided the retailer with instructions about leaving items in a specific place, or requested delivery to a neighbour in your absence, then it may be more difficult to seek recourse in these circumstances.

If you believe that items have been stolen, you should report this to the police, providing as much evidence as possible, as this is theft, which is a crime. Reporting this could help when stating your case for a refund from the retailer.

I hope you get the issue resolved! provide free, impartial, and practical advice and information on a range of topics, including your consumer rights when things go wrong.

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